First ‘Meet Up’ of ‘Dads – All Ages, All Stages’

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    Well done! Haven’t seen the photo, but read the article online. Was bigger than I’d expected….

    Anyone see it? Any feedback??

    It was in the paper (health supplement) yesterday, but I missed it. ds3 was having a bad morning & I never got around to getting a paper!!

    The numbers of dads coming is still small, but most enjoy it & one dad even came from Balbrigen with one of his two kids! Next week hopefully he’s going to bring both. The dads see to come back which is good.

    Will try be at Dundalk get-together tomorrow. If anyone has a copy of yesterday’s Irish Times health supplement, could you bring it along???


    I’ve heard on the grapevine that there are lots of stay-at-home dads (due to unemployment etc) slowly cracking up at home. Many seem too intimidated to come to parent-toddler meet-ups dominated by women.

    Does anybody have any ideas about how to overcome this?? Are there any kind of male activities that could be combined with organised childcare for a minimum cost??? A dad’s only morning in Pirate’s Den or something??

    It must be soul destroying to feel so isolated – & not good for mammies or kids either…..


    My dh is a stay at home dad and not through choice, when i was on ML with DD2 he came to bagel bar coffee monrings with me and now he very rarely misses one – i’m not sure how many people he gets to talk to on the day but he goes and seems to enjoy it and the kids do too.
    He also took dd2 to gymboree for a while and at one point there were more dads than mothers BUT the class was canceled last summer.
    I’m sure my dh would def go along to somethinl like you suggest


    My fella is only home sometimes, but I think it is vital that men socialise at a time like this. Sometimes when they lose a job, they lose friends / social outlet & I’m only too aware of how easily depression etc can set in. And THAT can really take its toll on a whole family….

    I’m sure it should be possible to organise something ‘mid-Louth’ that would appeal to dads.

    Or maybe every second week Dundalk / Drogheda?

    There would need to be a fair bit of publicity in advance to ensure a half decent turn out.
    Costs would need to be kept down (esp as many at home due to financial situation) – community centre? resource centre? hotel with empty function rooms mid-day?
    Something for dads & kids – someplace where kids could run around safely with snooker table / darts board / chess board / poker cards / fantasy football / or some kind of computer game league….? Trying to think cheap & male interest?
    Basic refreshments (mammies could help send in some buns? Place provide free / cheap tea / coffee?)
    Mid-morning 10-12, 11-1ish? In case school runs needed to be accommodated.
    And the best day would need to be sussed out to avoid as many clashes as possible

    I’m Dundalk based, but maybe the Bagel Bar wouldn’t be a bad place to start up something like this in Drogheda. And they have a certain amount of experience from mumstown meets… Or has anyone been to that new place advertised – Magickingdom??? Could something be worked with them? Maybe the Redeemer Centre in Dundalk?

    Anyone interested in trying to get something like this up & running? Or am I away with the fairies??


    Hi pookie2, i think that its a great idea. Will have a think about a few ideas 🙂


    pookies great idea…

    there is an increased number of stay at home dads, and i know one dad in particular who has asked about anything on….

    i think it’s important for mothers to encourage fathers to get involved….ESPECIALLY at groups, we haeva dad who comes to one in drogheda and he makes his point headign to groups he had moved over from uk and his wife is working so to adjust to his life and give his dd a chance for a routine that included soicalising and him too, he goes to playgroups…..i asked him what he thought about going to mainly female domintated group…..he goes to a few and says that many women though pretend to be nice are very clickish…..they barely speak to him, nod and smile but there are other women new mums who are just startign out like him that take the time to chat…then at our group he said we’re all delighted more have come everyone chats..

    the main thing i have to totally agree with him, is that many toddler groups are CLICKISH….many try not to be but they so are, and can be very daunting and unwelcoming….very sad to see this day and age…i’ve been to a few and in one place recently i sat talking to one woman who had been going for 5 weeks and nobody had sat and spokem to her….until i had….now what does that say….

    women need to be more inviting even though they perhaps think they aren’t clicky they so are….until they stop and think of making sure everyone is welcome and wanted less men will go, as they can’t be bothered with that crap…


    Was wondering – what about a meeting of dads of "all ages / all stages" with or without kids in tow? Must be plenty of empty nesters / early retired dads / fathers of older kids out there who have a lot to offer younger fathers & might appreciate the chance to socialise as well…

    I’ve heard that the M1 service station has a free play area beside a coffee dock. Anyone been there? Could it be an option as a place to start meetings? Are there two separate service stations either side of the road, or is there some kind of link? Would it be totally impractical????

    Any feedback on either idea?

    It could take a while to get something like this off the ground, so all imput would be appreciated…..


    Hi pookie2, my dp would definitely be interested in meeting up with other dads. From next Monday he is going to be staying home with our 2 boys and as we’re not originally from the area he wouldn’t know anyone that would be around during the day.
    The m1 service station could be a good starting point..


    Well there seems to be a bit of interest. Even if it only helped a dozen or so fellas. I’ll do a bit of investigating re publicity & venues.

    If – between us all – we came up with maybe 6 venues over 6 weeks & gave a good week or two notice in local papers / church newsletters & on local airways, publicised it & then left it to the dads to keep it going if they had the interest….. They’re not babies….

    So, anyone familiar with LMFM? Any programmes / presenters good for publicising local events like this??

    What are the main local papers in Dundalk (Argus? / Democrat?) & Drogheda? What days do they come out? Do they have local events sections?

    Where else should be targeted for publicity / venues? Clubs? Organisations? Not a local so could use all the help I could get….

    Would be great if we got stuff organised & loads of mums could publicise it in their own areas (from church porches to local supermarket noticeboards to gyms & sportsclubs & creches etc). Quick handwritten notes would be enough to set the ball rolling.

    Or, if we got really organised, we might have printed stuff ready to distribute at the mumstown meets in Feb….

    But I need the info above!!!

    If anyone wants to take this project on, let me know! Otherwise I’ll give a shot at getting something organised.

    Hope ‘m not treading on anyone’s toes.


    Ok, I’m pushing ahead with this & we’ll see what happens.

    I want to get a good bit donebefore Mumstown meet up in Dundalk on 3rd Feb (possibly before meet up in Drog on 1st) so that I might have a few flyers ready. Also baby due 4th & if I have nothing sorted by then, it could be ages before I get back to this project.

    Preliminary outline:
    Time: Tues 10.30-12.30 (Allows school / creche drop offs & pick ups etc)
    Dates: Tues 15th & 22nd Feb & 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd March
    Location: Castlebellingham Service Station (on M1 heading south ie towards Drog)
    Target audience: Men especially dads of all ages, all stages (stay-at-home dads, unemployed, early retirees, empty nesters, grandfathers etc)
    Aims: To give men the chance to meet other men in a male environment

    Reasons for location:
    I’ve checked it!!!
    Relatively convenient for both those in Dundalk & Drogheda (might find better later)
    Easy to find
    Plenty of free parking
    Free enclosed indoor & outdoor playareas with plenty of seating for dads beside
    Free access to picnic tables outside (when weather better)
    Variety of refreshments available
    Buggy friendly, high chairs available, large & clean baby-changing facilities beside play area
    Large, clean toilets for dads beside playarea
    Plenty of space & relatively quite on Tuesday
    Internet access
    Bank Machine
    Site manager would support meet ups (Feel free to contact her directly if you would like to set up a stall or have an idea. She is very practical & open to increasing her business in any way etc)

    My only concern is that some dads might be stuck for transport – but hopefully given enough notice & the help of this website & the mammies out there, that could be overcome. After the trial period, the location, time etc could be altered if it was found to be unsuitable.

    I’ll do my best to publicise this, but it is an informal meet aimed at the lads, so one the organisation is up & sorted, I’ll be backing off & leaving it to the boys.

    Any feedback???? Am I nuts??


    not at all fair play pookie – i will pass on that info to dh tonight
    btw the 1st march he’ll be a coffee morning in Bagel Bar
    I’m not sure it’s something he would get to every week but i’ll talk to him later and get back to you tomorrow! Thanks your a star!

    Financial Companion

    Just coz you’re nuts doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea! 😆

    I’ll try and pop along! And I might try to pop along to the bagel bar
    in Lawrence centre next tuesday to say hello if possible 😉


    No you’re not nuts!! Fair play to you for coming up with & organising this. I hope it does take off. I’ll let my dp know and hopefully he’ll make it along with our 2 🙂


    Right, well it seems we’re running with the info posted above.

    That info has been sent to the Argus & the Drogheda Independent. I also sent it to LMFM & they might even interview me at 11.30 tomorrow. Wasn’t looking for an interview, but they asked. Hope I don’t make a mess of it.

    I know it clashes with the Drog mumstown meeting once a month.Sorry about that. Anyway, guys don’t have to attend every week – just whenever it suits & they feel like it.

    Re finding the service station:
    Leaving Dundalk on the M1, it is clearly signposted on the left. When leaving afterwards, just turn right over the bridge over the motorway & head back to Dundalk.

    From Drogheda, I think you might have to take the first exit for Dundalk (Dundalk south) & then head immediately back towards Drogheda. Afterwards ye are facing back towards Drogheda, so you have a shorter trip home, if you follow me. Honestly, because it is motorway, it is not all that far from Drogheda timewise. If it turns out to be a problem, the location can always be changed.

    Would ye mind telling as many people as ye can about it. It would be important that the first few meets be well attended to get it off the ground.

    Obviously nothing to stop ladies showing up to support, but this is mainly aimed at the boys, so the girls might graciously fade into the background, if ye know what I mean….

    All – feedback before & after – welcome!


    think this is such a great idea and thank you for all the work that has gone into organising it…my partner is a stay home dad and would defo go to the groups ….when I showed him the suggested venue hes was a bit dubious…he raised concerns about that its open to "empty nesters", grandfathers who may attend without children the obvious concern that such a public place could be an open invitation for ill intentioned people.In my partners own words its not the same when its a group of men how can u trust someone turning up saying they are an "empty nester" no kids in toe….. W hichI can actually see where he is coming from! but I think he is going to go cause the alternative is stay home an dgo off his head!thanks again just though it was important to give back some feedback from my stay home dad!thanks again ladies for your hard work hopefully these dads have as much fun an craic as we do!

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